Scientists reconstruct face of woman who ruled Peru 1700 years ago

Scientists worked for 10 months to replicate the woman’s face by analysing her skull structure and comparing it with pictures of female residents of Magdalena de Cao, the town nearest to the pyramid. Picture: Rodrigo Abd

INTRODUCING the Lady of Cao: using hi-tech 3-D printing and based on the skull of an ancient mummy, scientists have reconstructed the face of a woman who governed in northern Peru 1700 years ago.

The woman’s mummified remains were discovered at the Cao Viejo adobe pyramid in 2006 in the Chicama Valley, just north of the modern city of Trujillo.

“Technology allows us to see the face of a political, religious and cultural leader of the past,” Peru’s Culture Minister Salvador del Solar said when he unveiled a lifelike bust of the woman on Tuesday in Lima.

A man looks at a replica of the Lady of Cao's mummy. Picture: Rodrigo Abd

A man looks at a replica of the Lady of Cao’s mummy. Picture: Rodrigo AbdSource:AP

Using hi-tech 3-D printing and based on the skull of an ancient mummy, scientists have reconstructed the face of a woman who governed in northern Peru 1700 years ago. Picture: Oscar Farje

Using hi-tech 3-D printing and based on the skull of an ancient mummy, scientists have reconstructed the face of a woman who governed in northern Peru 1700 years ago. Picture: Oscar FarjeSource:AFP

The woman's mummified remains were discovered at the Cao Viejo adobe pyramid in 2006 in the Chicama Valley, just north of the modern city of Trujillo. Picture: Oscar Farje

The woman’s mummified remains were discovered at the Cao Viejo adobe pyramid in 2006 in the Chicama Valley, just north of the modern city of Trujillo. Picture: Oscar FarjeSource:AFP

The woman, dubbed the Lady of Cao, belonged to the Moche culture that thrived in the northern coastal region between 100 and 800AD.

She had been buried with metal items and wooden sceptres wrapped in copper that symbolised the power she wielded when she was alive.

Archaeologists say she is the first known female governor in Peru. Before this experts did not believe that women had any governing or religious authority in pre-Hispanic Peru.

Scientists worked for 10 months to replicate the woman’s face by analysing her skull structure and comparing it with pictures of female residents of Magdalena de Cao, the town nearest to the pyramid.

Tattoos are still visible on the woman’s mummy, which was also on display at the event.

Peruvian Foreign Commerce and Tourism Minister Eduardo Ferreyros (L) and Culture Minister Salvador del Solar attending the ceremony to unveil the Lady of Cao. Picture: Oscar Farje

Peruvian Foreign Commerce and Tourism Minister Eduardo Ferreyros (L) and Culture Minister Salvador del Solar attending the ceremony to unveil the Lady of Cao. Picture: Oscar FarjeSource:AFP

A replica of the Lady of Cao's mummy, found in 2005 at the archaeological site Huaca El Brujo, in the cost north of Peru. Picture: Rodrigo Abd

A replica of the Lady of Cao’s mummy, found in 2005 at the archaeological site Huaca El Brujo, in the cost north of Peru. Picture: Rodrigo AbdSource:AP

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